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drum panning with submix

Discussion in 'Studio Techniques' started by Beatlefreek, May 26, 2012.

  1. Beatlefreek

    Beatlefreek Member

    Okay ... I sorta asked this question (among many) in a previous post (see Panning/ Direction mixer: still not clear) but I'm going to ask this now as a separate question and fine tune my situation and what I'm wanting to achieve.

    I'm a total newbie at this, so my question may seem stupidly simple to you more experienced recordists, but I've tried and I just can't figure out how to set up the Logic mixer to do what I want.

    Here's the situation:

    I have 9 mono tracks of drums: kick, snare, hi-hat, tom 1, tom 2, tom 3, tom 4, overhead, and room. I want the overhead and room to have a stereo spread, and I want the kick, snare, and hi-hat to be in the center of that stereo spread. But I want toms 1 and 2 to be panned hard left and toms 3 and 4 to be panned hard right. Finally, I want all 9 drum tracks to be going to an aux/bus drum sub-mix — to simply control the whole drum kit volume with the one fader.

    How do I set that up?

    Thanks so much.
  3. Eli

    Eli Senior member

    What you describe is fairly routine. First step is to set the output of all your nine drum tracks to a bus. A new Aux track will be created with this bus as the input. Make sure the Aux is stereo by clicking on the mono/stereo circle at the bottom of the LED meter.

    Now they are all sub-grouped to this Aux, and you can process the entire kit from here or control the overall volume, etc.

    Now, with regards to the panning of the nine individual mono drum channels. Pan your overheads and room mics hard left and right; that way you will get the full stereo image. Leave your kik snare and Hi hat mics center, with the pan straight up at 12:00 o'clock. Pan your toms as desired; one and two hard left, three and four hard right.

    All the individual track panning will be reflected in the stereo Aux sub mix.

    Hope this answers your questions.....
  4. Beatlefreek

    Beatlefreek Member

    Thanks, Eli.

    My overhead channel is just that: one channel, although it's in that "split channel" stereo mode. Same thing goes with the room channel. So I don't have overheads (plural) to pan left and right. Again, same thing with the room channel. All the other drums are in mono.

    By the way, these drums tracks were first created in midi (Addictive Drums) and then printed to audio. In Addictive Drums the one overhead automatically comes out as a split channel stereo, same thing with the room.

    Plan B?

    ps: I did what you described but no stereo spread ... BUT, I muted the overhead and room channels, and, voila!, left and right toms! So the problem then seems to be how to get the overhead and room channel in the submix without compromising the toms left/right spread.

    I'm starting to think that I may have to go back to Addictive Drums, somehow get the stereo left/right spread I want and then reprint to audio. But before I do that, I'm hoping I can solve this problem in the Logic mixer.
  5. georgelegeriii

    georgelegeriii Senior member

    The funny thing is you describe the exact steps: make sure each drum is on it's own track, pan them how you want them to be panned, make sure tha ALL the drums are being send to a bus rather than the stereo out (I use bus 10 for drums so I have the first 10 for reverbs, delays, modulation like chorus, special FX), then I grab bus 10, add a compressor to the first insert, use the FET compression algorithm, set it to about 15 to 20 MS, and the release to about 50 MS, and then grab the threshold and get about 3 to 6 DB of compression to "blend" the drums together, and by allowing the attack to get through, they have a pretty good snap, as long as you don't overdo it.

    You have answered most of your question in the asking... very funny ;-)
  6. georgelegeriii

    georgelegeriii Senior member

    Actually, Addictive drums has stereo outs for the room and overheads... were they dumped as audio in protools? If you have "split stereo", Logic will give you a stereo track, with 2 OO rather than the sideways 8. The track, if soloed, should still sound stereo, right?
  7. Beatlefreek

    Beatlefreek Member

    Protools? That aside, I intentionally printed the Addictive Drums to audio so I could deal with them as audio tracks. Protools is not involved in any way.

    The overhead and room channels have the sideways 8 (or an 8 lying on its side: same thing, yes?). The only way I can get two OO's is if I select left or right and, yes, it still "sounds" stereo (sorta), but looking at the meter on the soloed overhead channel I can see that left and right volumes are registering (going up and down) in complete unison. When the sideways 8 is engaged, then the left/right on the channel meter responds to the volume of the drums independently of each other, as they should.

    However, I did discover one thing that has improved the stereo spread somewhat. The master drum bus (I use bus 10 as well) was selected for mono (oops). Switching that to stereo (the "split stereo" thing, with a sideways 8) spreads out the entire kit better. But I still can't get a hard left and right on the toms because their "shadow" is printed on the overhead and room channels, and they are in a more conservative (and probably more realistic) spread.

    Simply cranking a tom left or right on its own channel does nothing to affect the already printed conservative stereo spread on the overhead and room channels.

    I'm pretty sure that if I want to get an hard stereo spread, then I'll have to go back to Addictive Drums, make the change there and then reprint to audio.

    But, just the simple change to stereo on the master drums bus did loosen up the mono sound I was hearing. Even that little change now makes the drums sound more open and alive.
  8. Eli

    Eli Senior member

    It sounds to me like there is no problem other than your expectations of how things "should" work. You have your tracks arriving at a stereo bus. Your overhead track seems to be a stereo track that contains the stereo mix of the overheads. Same for your room mics.

    If you want to hear more of a separation of your toms, and have them harder panned, simply use less of your overhead and room tracks in the mix and more of the direct tom mics. It sounds to me like it's simply a matter of balancing the relative levels of the direct mics versus the overhead and room mics.
  9. georgelegeriii

    georgelegeriii Senior member

    I actually do panning both "IN" AD and also once the tracks have been sent to individual outs.

    The thing I'm not sure of is why you would choose to print the drums from AD to audio... you can easily setup auxes from a multi output instance of AD and then you can treat them in AD AND Logic. You can also do things like: remove the drums going to the room sounds and make your own "room" using Logic's reverbs... or a huge number of other things you can't do once the tracks have been printed.

    Just interested in why you made that choice?
  10. Beatlefreek

    Beatlefreek Member

    Well, there's the truth! My frame of reference has been analog, and as I read somewhere else regarding the pan/balance controls, they do seem rather counter-inuitive.

    But I now have a much better idea of the signal path and how pan and balance work in conjunction with each other.
  11. Beatlefreek

    Beatlefreek Member

    Well, there's a little bit of a complicated answer to that. But given what you've just told me about treating the drums (panning or whatever) in both Addictive Drums AND Logic, I will be taking a second, closer look at my current methodology.

    Thanks so much.
  12. uncle808us

    uncle808us Member

    "make sure tha ALL the drums are being send to a bus rather than the stereo out" This is what I was missing in my submix channel!
    Thank you.

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